Showing posts from November, 2016

Matt Glover and Alan Wright in Adelaide in 2017

With the wonderful support of Lisa Burman Consulting, I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting in Adelaide on June 16 alongside, American Educator and Author, Matt Glover. I look forward to being part of this professional learning day. It's a rare opportunity to listen to Matt, while I look forward to sharing insight into how writing can be most effectively presented with older students. Hope to see you in Adelaide.

Matt Glover & Alan Wright in Adelaide 2017!Matt Glover

Matt Glover is making his first trip to Australia and we have him here in Adelaide! As many of you already know, Matt is one of the key influences in our Bookmaking Approach. In fact, every time I read one of Matt's books, I almost feel like I could have written it, we are so 'in tune' with each other's values and beliefs. The details, including conference titles and content, are still being worked out, but I wanted to share the news with you all so you can share in my excitement! 
Alan W…

Writers Need To Go Rummaging Occasionally


'Go to the attic of your mind and rummage around and find something.' Mary Higgins Clark

What excellent advice for those who procrastinate over writing. Remember it is easy to find reasons not to write. What you are seeking is just one good reason to write. For teachers, the answer is -your students!

Rummaging is such a wonderful word. I experience such delight when indulging in a bit of rummaging. It imbues the spirit of discovery, and the  potential to uncover unexpected treasure and delight. It may also reveal some thing long since forgotten, something considered lost. The very notion of digging and delving into some mysterious part of your life and its associated belongings create an air of excitement. The act of turning over items or fossicking and rifling through books, journals or collected papers is alive with the prospect of discovery or rediscovery. 

I admit to deliberately hiding items inside books (notes, business cards, tickets) in order to enjoy the discover…

New POETRY Book Release!


I am so pleased to announce the release of my new poetry book, I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon -More Poetry From the Search Zone.
This anthology of poems follows on from my first collection of poems, the successful,  Searching For Hen's Teeth.

You can order my book on line or simply walk into your local bookstore and ask the kind person serving you to order it in for you. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. May the words reach your poet's heart.

Here is a taste, a morsel to whet your appetite for more poetry. Hope you like it. Hope you want more...

Yesterday, I knew who my enemies were. I knew where they lived. I knew not to go there. Yesterday, I knew where to play on the school ground And that football was my favourite game in the whole wide world. Yesterday, I knew how disgusting it was to eat sheep brains And broccoli. And oysters. Yesterday, I could fly a kite, Keep a secret, And swing from the clothesline. The world felt settled. Then Laura Fisher spoke to …

Some Conventional Wisdom About Writing

Conventional Wisdom  About Writing
Many of us carry scars inflicted by the Grammar Police. Teachers and other adults who could spot an errors from across the room.Much of my childhood was punctuated (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) by zealous red pen people.
They frequently reminded me my efforts to write conventionally clearly fell short. I was in need of correction and their written comments were used to reinforce my grammatical shortcomings, my failure to conform to the adult model of acceptable English. I don’t ever recall receiving written comments regarding the intent of my writing. The focus appeared to be purely on the surface features of the writing. It was a deficit model of teaching writing.
In reality I was practicing conventions every time I wrote. Every time I wrote, I was moving a smidge closer to becoming a writer who understood how conventions assisted me to convey a clearer message to my readers.
Think about it. As we write each letter to form words, as we allow spaces bet…

The Peaceful Co-existence Of Poetry and Sport

Unpacking The Poet

When I visit schools as part of a Meet The Author Day, young writers always arrive brimming with questions regarding the writing life and the work surrounding the publishing of books. The usual questions arise during the day:
Where do you get your ideas? What inspired you to write poetry? Do you have a favourite poem? Do you prefer rhyming verse or free verse? How long have you been writing poetry? How did you get your poetry book published? How long does it take to write a book?
These questions are quite normal. But one question (usually posed by Grade 6 boys) always sets me to thinking more deeply about my response. They raise a hand and ask, ‘Do you like sport?
This question has been raised with me on numerous occasions and it is always posed by boys. I suspect that in the minds of many boys, poetry and sports are viewed as mutually exclusive pursuits. Poetry is seemingly passive and sport, an active pursuit preferred by the majority of male role models in the lives of the…

Using Texts Mindfully To Teach Writing


The very best way to learn to write in any particular form, is to read the kind of writing you are hoping to write. If my wish is to write poetry, I must read poetry. If my wish is to write memoir I must spend time reading memoir in order to gain insight about this type of writing.
If we wish to teach our students about a particular form of writing we must first become readers of that kind of writing ourselves.  We read like writers. We learn to notice the craft moves writers employ. This is where curriculum begins.
 We must seek out all those powerful examples representative of what our students are likely to write. The important work we do in our writing workshop lessons is thus filled with these various kinds of writing. The inexperienced writers needs to view such writing and read such writing in order to better understand how it works.
Everything we (and our student writers) need to know about writing resides in these gathered texts. The an…